“One bad day is not a bad lifetime and you’re not alone.”– Sharon

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Managing Relationships and Finding Your Support Network

Maintaining social relationships while living with narcolepsy can be a challenge. Family, friends, or romantic partners may not always understand what you are going through, and your symptoms can get in the way of connecting with others. Having people you can turn to is important for navigating the ups and downs that come with living with narcolepsy.

Tips for Managing Relationships

  • Be open with others about how narcolepsy affects you
  • Prioritize your most meaningful relationships
  • Plan social or romantic engagements during the times of day that you typically feel most awake
  • Talk with your healthcare provider about how you feel about your relationships and things you might be able to do to help better manage your relationships

You are not alone.

Hearing first-hand experiences from other people in the narcolepsy community can help with talking to family and friends about narcolepsy and building a functional and meaningful life.

See how others with narcolepsy have found support
  • Find the right sleep specialist. – Scott
  • Connect with people who have been diagnosed, either online or in person. – Sharon
  • Having narcolepsy can leave you feeling self-conscious in the workplace. Strategic disclosure was better than allowing someone the opportunity to label me. – Ijeoma
  • Being open and honest with your friends and family is incredibly important. – Emily
  • Find a counselor who you can speak candidly with. – Matt
  • Surround yourself with people who bring you peace. – Gina
Andre Talking to Your Friends and Family About Narcolepsy Video thumbnail
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Sharon Finding Your Narcolepsy Support Group Video thumbnail
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Andre Talking to Your Friends and Family About Narcolepsy Video thumbnail

Talking to Your Friends and Family About Narcolepsy

Gina Managing the Social Impact of Narcolepsy Video thumbnail

Managing Relationships and/or Social Life With Narcolepsy

Emily Support System for People Living With Narcolepsy Video thumbnail

Support System for People Living With Narcolepsy

Sharon Finding Your Narcolepsy Support Group Video thumbnail

Finding Your Narcolepsy Support Group

Talking to Your Friends and Family About Narcolepsy

Andre

Andre describes how he sat down with the people in his life and began a journey of education and understanding.

Managing Relationships and/or Social Life With Narcolepsy

Gina

Gina explains why you shouldn’t feel guilty setting boundaries within your relationships.

Support System for People Living With Narcolepsy

Emily

Emily shares the importance of having a support system and who she includes in hers.

Finding Your Narcolepsy Support Group

Sharon

Finding your support group may take time, but be patient and remember that you are not alone.

Andre Talking to Your Friends and Family About Narcolepsy Video thumbnail
Watch Video

Talking to Your Friends and Family About Narcolepsy

Andre

Andre describes how he sat down with the people in his life and began a journey of education and understanding.

More
Gina Managing the Social Impact of Narcolepsy Video thumbnail
Watch Video

Managing Relationships and/or Social Life With Narcolepsy

Gina

Gina explains why you shouldn’t feel guilty setting boundaries within your relationships.

More
Emily Support System for People Living With Narcolepsy Video thumbnail
Watch Video

Support System for People Living With Narcolepsy

Emily

Emily shares the importance of having a support system and who she includes in hers.

More
Sharon Finding Your Narcolepsy Support Group Video thumbnail
Watch Video

Finding Your Narcolepsy Support Group

Sharon

Finding your support group may take time, but be patient and remember that you are not alone.

More

Being able to talk about what you're experiencing, just getting it off your chest and out of your head, definitely helps a lot.

Emily

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Vivid dream-like experiences that occur while falling asleep or while waking up.

Occurs at night and includes dreams; muscles are not active to prevent people from acting out dreams.

People with type 1 narcolepsy can be diagnosed by their cataplexy or low levels of hypocretin (also known as orexin).

The cause of type 2 narcolepsy is unknown.

Restorative sleep state with decreased muscle tone.

Daytime and evening habits to improve sleep.

Brief total loss of voluntary muscle control when falling asleep or while waking up.

Also known as orexin, hypocretin is a naturally occurring chemical in the brain that helps maintain wakefulness and prevent non-REM sleep and REM sleep from occurring at the wrong time.

Unintentionally falling asleep due to excessive daytime sleepiness; “sleep attacks.”

The inability to stay awake and alert during the day; a constant need for sleep or unintentionally falling asleep.

A naturally occurring chemical in the brain that helps maintain wakefulness.

Vivid dream-like experiences that occur while falling asleep or while waking up.

Frequent shifts between different states of sleep and wakefulness at night.

Difficulty focusing or concentrating.

Brief loss of muscle tone with retained awareness, often triggered by strong emotions.

Performance of routine tasks without awareness or memory.